(TNS) - A tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened into a hurricane Saturday morning ahead of its Texas landfall.
Just before 8 a.m. Saturday, Hurricane Hanna — the eighth named storm of the year — was producing winds up to 75 mph, moving west toward the Texas coastline, south of Corpus Christi, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm, which was barely a tropical storm Friday morning with winds up to 40 mph, has intensified quickly over the past 24 hours.
The Category 1 hurricane could produce “life-threatening” flash flooding in South Texas as well as a dangerous storm surge from Port Mansfield to Sargent, the center warned.
The greatest threat for most of South Texas is the possibility for heavy rainfall, according to the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi. Hanna could produce between 5 and 10 inches of rain, and as much as 15 inches in isolated areas, the weather service cautioned.
Hanna is expected to make landfall Saturday evening before veering southwest into Mexico and weakening into a tropical storm, according to the hurricane center.
As it makes landfall, a few tornadoes could develop in portions of South Texas along the coast, the center warned.
Other than the possibility of a few scattered showers this weekend, Hanna is not expected to have much of an impact on weather in North Texas, according to David Bonnette, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth. The hurricane, however, is bringing increased moisture to the area, which could create some muggy conditions, Bonnette said.
“An abnormally humid air mass will reside across North and Central Texas,” Bonnette said of this weekend’s forecast.
Gov. Greg Abbott this week prepositioned state resources — including water rescue operations — to respond to the storm.
“Texans along the coast are advised to take precautionary measures to protect life and property,” Abbott said Friday in a written statement. “I urge all those who are in the path of this storm to heed the warnings and guidance from local officials before the storm makes landfall. The State of Texas will coordinate with local officials to provide assistance and resources to communities in the area.”
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